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About OASCR


Frederick Pfaeffle Arana photoFrederick Pfaeffle Arana began his tenure as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in March 2014. Prior to his current position, Mr. Pfaeffle was appointed by the White House as Principal Deputy General Counsel of the USDA, one of the largest agencies in the Federal government, with presence in 88 countries and with approximately 100,000 employees.


Mr. Pfaeffle Arana has been instrumental in leading efforts with the U.S. Department of Justice to establish a $1.33 Billion women and Hispanic claims process to resolve long-standing discrimination claims by women and Hispanic farmers, and ranchers against USDA. He also worked to resolve multi-billion dollar class-action civil rights litigation filed by African-Americans and Native-Americans. Furthermore, Mr. Pfaeffle leads teams responsible for administrative investigations and adjudication of thousands of civil rights complaints filed against the United States claiming employment discrimination and discrimination in the delivery of USDA programming. Other functions include compliance with civil rights laws and regulations and establishing civil rights policy on a national scale.


As Principal Deputy General Counsel, he assisted the General Counsel in managing the Office of the General Counsel which employs over 200 lawyers nation-wide. His responsibilities included providing legal advice to the Secretary of Agriculture and his subcabinet and supervising 3 Divisions and 2 Regions. In addition to his Civil Rights work, his areas of supervision included legal services in Natural Resources and Environment, Rural Development, Anti-trust, International Trade, Finance, Insurance, and Food and Nutrition Services such as the Food Stamp and School Lunch programs.


Mr. Pfaeffle Arana was born in Mexico City from Nicaraguan parents and lived in Latin America until moving to Miami to attend High School, where he became a U.S. Citizen. He attended the University of Florida and Florida International University and practiced as a CPA at a major international accounting firm until entering Law School at the University of Southern California. He began his career in the private sector at a major California law firm in the areas of Real Estate, land use, and environmental law.


Prior to joining USDA in 2010, Mr. Pfaeffle Arana held the position of Principal Deputy County Counsel in Los Angeles County where he was responsible for legal work in the areas of Public Works, Solid Waste, Hazardous Waste and Water. He was active in the community serving as staff counsel to the Christopher Commission Investigating the LAPD following the LA riots and serving for a U.S. Senator as International Monitor to Presidential Elections in Nicaragua. Mr. Pfaeffle Arana also served as member to various boards, including the Mexican American Bar Foundation.